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  • Will Appleyard

Thistlegorm


2015 closed nicely with a liveaboard trip to the Northern Red Sea - a pleasure diving trip more than anything work related and a chance to mess about with some camera gear while enjoying an easy diving environment. We revisted some of the classic wrecks during the week-long trip, all of which I hadn't seen since my last visit to the north, three years before - the Gianis D, Chrisoula K, Carnatic and the Dunraven all looked much as we'd left them - however the Thistlegorm's wear and tear was aparent for sure. During our two dives on the wreck there were four other boats moored on her, plus ours and all tied into various parts of the wreck - the damage below the waves was clear. This was a quiet time of year, with summer months seeing at times, 20 boats tied in above her. The Thistlegorm sees more than its fair share of pressure from the thousands of divers visiting her each year and we are all part of the problem. Post dive, I overheard divers on our boat grumbling about "other divers" touching things and pulling themselves along the wreck or levering themselves into or out of the many doorways and openings - "these divers are destroying the wreck", they went on to say. Sure, it's important not to touch anything if you can help it, but even dive Gods with perfect bouyancy control will at some point brush past some part of her - a tank bang here or a miss placed fin there - especially if penetrating the inner sections. Simply by visiting the wreck we're all part of the problem - your boat is tied onto the wreck to begin with. By entering the wreck and simply exhaling we are contributing to its demise, as, over time, our exhaled air will also assist with the wreck's degridation. Should a permit system be put in place, limiting the number of boats allowed at the site at one time? Would that have an overall negative affect on the diving tourism? This all said, no wreck will survive forever and Egypt are thankfully now doing what they can to add at least a few more years to this fascinating time capsule by placing mooring lines away from the wreck itself. So - Long live the Thistlegorm wreck for all to enjoy.


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